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THE NINETH MONTH
Ginbot 13
(May 21)

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, 
ONE GOD.  AMEN.

On this day died the holy father, the ascetic, and fighter, and wise man Arsenius.  This saint was of the men of Rome, and he belonged to a rich and noble family, and [his parents] taught him the doctrine of the Church, and they made him a deacon.  And after this he went to the city of Athens, and he studied and learned philosophy, and astronomy, and all the paths of the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and their times; and he became exceedingly learned, and he excelled many of the philosophers and sages of his day.  He was perfect in the wisdom of the Greeks, and in Christian learning, and in the practice and teaching of divine excellences.  And when Theodosius the Great was reigning over the country of Romya, he sought for a good and wise man to teach his sons Honorius and Arcadius.  And they took this saint to the Emperor Theodosius, and he had him brought into his presence, and he asked him to teach his sons.  And then the emperor brought his two sons Honorius and Arcadius into his royal abode, and Saint Arsenius taught them, and corrected (or, admonished) them, as was fitting, and since he devoted much exertion and toil to teaching them, he inflicted on them severe and painful beatings.  When the Emperor Theodosius their father was dead, his son Honorius reigned over the city of Rome, and Arcadius reigned over the city of Constantinople.  And God put fear of them into the heart of this saint, because he used to beat them when he was teaching them, and for this reason God stirred him up to go forth from the world, and to become a lighted lamp to lighten all those who wished for the salvation of their souls.  And whilst he was thinking in his heart what he should do, behold a voice came unto him form God, saying, “Arsenius, Arsenius, Arsenius, go forth from this world and thou shalt be saved.”  When he heard this voice, he did not tarry, but he rose up forthwith, and changed his apparel and came to the city of Alexandria.  Thence he departed into the desert of Scete, to the monastery of Saint Abba Macarius, and he fought a great fight with fasting and prayer, and long and frequent vigils, and in addition to these ascetic virtues he learned to keep silence.  One day, when a man questioned him about his keeping silence, he answered, and said unto him, “Many times when I have spoken I have been sorry and repented, but on no day did I ever repent because I had kept silence.”  And this saint was humble and meek, both inwardly and outwardly, and he was always doing the work of God; and he never ceased to work with his hands, and he wept and gave away in alms whatever was left to him.  And he composed many admonitory Discourses, which were profitable to him that wished for the salvation of his soul.  And when he went into the church he hid himself behind a pillar, so that men might not see him, and this saint worked many signs and wonders.  And God revealed to him signs and wonders, and on many occasions the contending of many men.  The appearance of this saint was good, and his limbs were strong, and his face was bright and very cheerful, and his beard was long and reached to the hem of his garment; but by reason of his weeping and his asceticism his eyelashes were wanting.  This saint was tall in stature, but he became bowed by reason of his age; all the days of his life were one hundred and five years.  Of these he passed forty years in the city of Rome and forty years in the desert of Scete of Saint Abba Macarius, and in the monastery of Mesr (Cairo) twenty years, and in the monasteries of the city of Alexandria three years, and he returned to the monastery of Mesr (Cairo), and lived there two years.  After this he died in peace.  Salutation to Arsenius.

Glory be to God Who is glorified in His Saints.  Amen.